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Death Studies

Qianguo Xiao, Weijie He, Yi Zhu
Given the mixed findings regarding the relationship between Mortality Salience (MS) and prosocial behavior, the present research retested how MS influences prosocial behaviors in Chinese culture. Results showed that although participants have different level of death thought accessibility between an organ donation scenario and a general charity scenario, their willingness for prosocial behaviors were not significantly different between the two scenarios, indicating that under the influence of Chinese culture MS did not decrease prosocial behaviors...
December 5, 2016: Death Studies
Ilanit Tal, Christine Mauro, Charles F Reynolds, M Katherine Shear, Naomi Simon, Barry Lebowitz, Natalia Skritskaya, Yuanjia Wang, Xin Qiu, Alana Iglewicz, Danielle Glorioso, Julie Avanzino, Julie Loebach Wetherell, Jordan F Karp, Don Robinaugh, Sidney Zisook
We compared baseline demographic characteristics, clinical features, and grief-related thoughts, feelings and behaviors of individuals bereaved by suicide, accident/homicide and natural causes participating in a complicated grief (CG) treatment clinical trial. Severity of CG and depression and current depression diagnosis did not vary by loss type. After adjusting for baseline demographic features, time since death and relationship to the deceased, those with CG after suicide had the highest rates of lifetime depression, pre-loss passive suicidal ideation, self-blaming thoughts, and impaired work and social adjustment...
November 28, 2016: Death Studies
Rachel M Depner, Pei C Grant, David J Byrwa, Jennifer M Breier, Jennifer Lodi-Smith, Christopher W Kerr, Debra L Luczkiewicz
A growing number of correctional facilities train inmates to provide end-of-life care for dying inmates. This study explores the phenomenological perspective of inmate-caregivers participating in an inmate-facilitated hospice program (IFHP) with regard to meaning and purpose in life, attitudes on death and dying, and perceived personal impact of participation. Twenty-two inmate-caregivers were interviewed at a maximum-security state correctional facility in the United States. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using the Consensual Qualitative Research Methodology...
November 22, 2016: Death Studies
Shane Sharp
Results of logistic regression analysis of data from the General Social Survey (N = 1,799) finds that those who have a strong belief in miracles are more likely to say that a person with an incurable illness should not be allowed to accept medical treatments that painlessly hasten death than those who have a less strong belief in miracles or do not believe in miracles, net of respondents' religious affiliations, frequency of religious attendance, views of the Bible, and other sociodemographic controls. Results highlight the need to consider specific religious beliefs when predicting individuals' attitudes towards voluntary euthanasia...
November 22, 2016: Death Studies
Marius Rotar
This paper illuminates the history of the annual death conference in Alba Iulia, Romania (2007-2015), the only conference on death and dying organized in Eastern Europe. Written by the conference founder, the paper tries to set out the main lines of its development over that period. Emphasis is laid on the difficulties of expanding death studies in Romania, the reaction of the wider public to the death conference, and the collaboration beyond borders between death scholars. The papers included in this issue of Death Studies are briefly presented...
November 17, 2016: Death Studies
Patricia Wonch Hill, Joanne Cacciatore, Karina M Shreffler, Kayla M Pritchard
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 17, 2016: Death Studies
Ted Bowman
Spirituality is now routinely included in the arc of palliative or holistic care. In spite of this recognition, its importance can be compromised unless countertransference in its many forms gains more attention. In this article, individual and systemic considerations related to the intersection of spiritualty and countertransference in hospice and palliative care will be addressed, with particular emphasis on practitioner implications. A framework, developed by Kenneth Pargament will be extended to highlight perceptions that can exacerbate countertransference and spirituality...
November 16, 2016: Death Studies
Musa Dirlik, Başak Bostancıoğlu
The purpose of this study was to retrospectively investigate cases of death due to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in the province of Aydın in western Turkey. The study investigated the cases of death due to CO poisoning that were autopsied at the Adnan Menderes University Department of Forensic Medicine from 2002 to 2012. The mean age of the 33 autopsied cases of fatal CO poisoning was 60.30 ± 4.082 years, and 75.8% of the cases were men. The highest level of CO in blood was 79.7%. It was found that most of the CO poisoning deaths were related to accidents...
November 16, 2016: Death Studies
Margaret Souza
The literature on bereavement has been dominated by psychology (Bowlby, 1969; Freud, 1961 ; Parkes, 1972 ; Worden, 1991 ). Social Science (Hockey et al., 2001 ; Klass, Silverman, & Nickman, 1996; Valentine, 2008 ; Walter, 1999 ) has expanded that perspective by illustrating the ways in which the bereaved maintain continuing bonds with the deceased. In this article I build upon the social science literature from an anthropological perspective. I focus upon how the bereaved must learn to live in the social environment without the deceased in what I call a "new normal...
November 15, 2016: Death Studies
Maija Butters
Finland holds a unique place in the geographical and cultural map of Europe by being situated between the East and the West. This article will offer a historical overview of Finland's death culture from the point of view of the various religious and ideological practices that reflect influence from these two sides. I also explore the factors that may explain the Lutheran Church's hegemony over death and dying in Finland.
November 15, 2016: Death Studies
Mark A Generous, Maureen Keeley
The current investigation examines retrospectively wished for and avoided conversations during the end of life with a deceased relational partner. Participants reported on conversations they wished they had engaged in and conversations that they intentionally avoided, as well as reasons why they did not engage in the conversations. Analyses revealed the following wished for and avoided conversations: negative relationship characteristics; death and dying; postdeath arrangements; and personal information. Furthermore, participants indicated the following reasons for not discussing the aforementioned topics during final conversations: emotional protection, relational differences, and condition of the dying...
November 15, 2016: Death Studies
Asher D Colombo
An intriguing paradox emerges in the history of disposal of the dead in Europe: the countries (Italy, Germany, England and Scotland) where, in the last quarter of the XIX century, cremation was introduced first, were the last ones to see the diffusion of cremation as a mass phenomenon. The contrary was true where - for an instance, in Switzerland and in Denmark - the start of cremation was initially delayed. Here the growth was very fast. In order to explain this puzzling enigma, I propose to abandon the usual nation level approach and take cities as appropriate unity of analysis...
November 15, 2016: Death Studies
Yvon van der Pijl
In 2014 the Dutch Funeral Organization Yarden started with the participatory preparations for a multicultural funeral home. The project aims at a 24/7 service for the super-diverse population of Amsterdam and beyond. This article gives an ethnographic account of Yarden's efforts to capture cultural diversity. It explores how a multicultural gaze creates a power/knowledge dynamic producing new discourses and shaping new layers of significance. The study then turns into arguing that the birth of the multicultural home is, above all, a cultural, collaborative search leaving (counter-discursive) space for creativity, change, and cultural renewal of all actors involved...
November 15, 2016: Death Studies
Christoph De Spiegeleer, Jeffrey Tyssens
Modern historiography of collective attitudes, practices and conflicts surrounding death often focuses on the institutional history of cemeteries and non-religious funerals in nineteenth-century France. Institutional and cultural discussions concerning funerals and cemeteries also divided nineteenth-century Belgium. This article explores emblematic civil burials and the secularization of cemeteries in major Belgian cities. The article distinguishes different dimensions of the secularization of death and highlights the particular nature of Belgian funerary conflicts and burial reform within a broader European context...
November 15, 2016: Death Studies
Renske C Visser
As death is a universal concept this paper adds to the literature by showing the problematic nature of the idea that a researcher must be objective when studying this topic. Thus this paper will discuss the complexity of subjectivity within death studies. Three key elements of subjectivity form the basis of this discussion: 1. The researcher's cultural background, 2. The researcher's personal experiences and 3. The emotional impact of research on the researcher. It is argued that transparency about the subjective nature of death studies research can be fruitful in understanding the research process before, during and after fieldwork...
November 15, 2016: Death Studies
Brenda Mathijssen
This paper explores cremation and disposal practices in the Netherlands, focusing on the attitudes and experiences of Dutch bereaved in relation to cremated remains. In academic and professional narratives human ashes are commonly described as 'important', as 'sacred', and as a vehicle to continue intense and physical relationships with the dead. Based on quantitative and qualitative data this paper illustrates the ambiguity of such relationships. It highlights the diverse experiences, unexpected challenges and moral obligations that can be evoked by the deceased's ashes, where the latter are seen as embedded in material practices and entangled in social relationships...
November 15, 2016: Death Studies
Edward C Chang, Olivia D Chang, Tamás Martos, Viola Sallay, Alexandria S-M Najarian, Jerin Lee
The present research examined the validity of the Hungarian Frequency of Suicidal Ideation Inventory (FSII-H). In Study 1, among 457 Hungarian college students, confirmatory factor analysis supported a 1-factor model. In Study 2, among 241 Hungarian college students, the FSII-H correlated positively with measures of suicide risk factors, and negatively with suicide protective factors. The present findings are the first to provide promising evidence for the validity of a brief measure of suicide ideation frequency in a Hungarian population...
November 8, 2016: Death Studies
Lauren R Khazem, Danielle R Jahn, Kelly C Cukrowicz, Michael D Anestis
The roles of perceived burdensomeness and depressive symptoms in the relationship between physical disabilities or health conditions and suicidal ideation warrant examination. We examined indirect effects using cross-sectional data from adults who answered questions online. The serial indirect effect of the number of physical disabilities on suicidal ideation through perceived burdensomeness and depressive symptoms was not significant, but the serial indirect effects of the combined number of physical disabilities and health conditions and number of health conditions on suicidal ideation through perceived burdensomeness and depression were each significant...
November 8, 2016: Death Studies
Rui C Campos, Margarida Gomes, Ronald R Holden, Margarida Piteira, Ana Rainha
This study evaluated whether psychache (i.e., mental pain) mediates the association between general distress, assessed as the frequency and the intensity of psychological symptoms in the previous week, and suicide ideation in community adults. For a sample of 202 adults, psychache fully mediated the relationship between suicide ideation and the frequency of psychological symptoms, and partially mediated the relationship between suicide ideation and the intensity of psychological symptoms. As such, mental pain fully or partially explains the process linking the frequency and the intensity of general distress to suicide ideation and, thus, mental pain is a target for potential intervention...
November 8, 2016: Death Studies
Ellis C Dillon
Little is known about how patient and family engagement manifests in home hospice care. This qualitative study included interviews and observation of home hospice care with 18 patients, 11 caregivers, and 26 hospice workers in the United States. Structural factors (e.g., home setting, ample time, personal relationships), hospice worker strategies (e.g., patient education and presenting choices), and family member support facilitated engagement. Barriers to engagement included difficult relationships and unavailable or unwilling family members...
November 4, 2016: Death Studies
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